Review of The Pastor and Counseling

There are many books written today that are too long to be useful or too short to be helpful. The Pastor and Counseling is, thankfully, neither laboriously long or uselessly brief. Jeremy Pierre and Deepak Reju strike a careful balance, with just enough meat in a package digestible for the busy pastor or counselor (130 pgs.). If you are looking for a detailed theory of Biblical counseling, this book is not for you (I recommend Paul Tripp’s Instruments in the Redeemer’s Hand). However, if you are convinced that the Bible is truly sufficient for human needs and are in need of help with the actual doing of Biblical counseling in a formal setting, The Pastor and Counseling is ideal.

In the first 3 chapters, Pierre and Reju provide their vision of pastoral counseling (ch. 1), go over the basics of getting started counseling someone (ch. 2), and give an overview of the method of counseling (ch 3). The next 3 chapters move through the process of counseling, covering the beginning (ch 4), middle (ch 5), and end (ch 6). The last two chapters consider how counseling functions within the greater contexts of the church and the community. In these chapters, the authors impress the need for a community of discipleship within the church (ch. 7) and address briefly the other professionals with whom a counselor may find need of interacting (ch 8).

This book is written from the perspective of the biblical counseling movement, so it is interested in applying the Scriptures to the troubles people face and not any of the other various counseling methods. The authors define “counseling that is Christian, or biblical in its most basic form,” as “a ministry of the Word by which Christians help others understand how their hearts are actively responding to God amid their specific life circumstances, and how faith in Christ Jesus changes those response” (133).

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